TUD: People tend to focus on the killing, but there are so many levels to this concept. What was it that drew you in specifically?
James DeMonaco: I think the idea of setting the laws, setting the parameters for our lives, how would we govern ourselves? I think there’s intrigue in that. What would we do if there was no higher law? If we were…you know, morality… how far would that take us? Frank speaks to this very well. In daily life, there’s a lot of people who kind of piss us off. I think we have an innate notion to seek revenge, to seek justice. And the question is, if put to the test, if you could do something, would you? I think that’s what Frank’s character speaks to the most.
Frank Grillo: You know it’s funny though. Left to our own devices, human beings naturally form government. Like if you watch the series “Survivor,” which starts off as a utopia, eventually it settles into a government. And that’s what we do by nature. I’ve been all over the world and I’ve seen the purge happening to societies. It’s not as defined as this movie is obviously. But we are a society that unfortunately is violent against each other. You know, it’s terrible… but I would steal earrings. (Laughs)
Carmen Ejogo: I think what the ingenuity of it is, is that it’s actually somewhat based in a kind of real concept. The political constructs of America in some ways, violence as a given, violence as an inevitability. The idea that you have that as an option for one day of the year is not such a crazy place to imagine someday in the future. I feel like among some demographics in some pockets of society, there is already gun violence amongst people that is self destructive to this point… to this kind of level. (Turns to Michael K. Williams) Wouldn’t you say?
Michael K. Williams: I totally would agree with you.
It’s called Chicago. So on a more serious note, how close do you think we are to a real government sanctioned Purge happening. As in how many years away?
James DeMonaco: Oh I don’t think ever. I don’t think we could ever justify killing people.
TUD: It’s called the death penalty.
Frank Grillo: You know… again, these are all valid points. And I think things like that; I think that’s why the zeitgeist has responded to this idea, this ideology of what’s next for our government. Like, how do we cleanse a poisoned society or a society that doesn’t really work, especially for different classes? Regardless of how you see the movie, the idea is what makes it so intriguing to everybody.
Michael K. Williams: I think we’re sort of in a Purge right now. The economic structure, the have and the have-nots, the rich and poor, the middle class being wiped out. I feel that we’re living a purge, a slow motion purge right now. People are not surviving, people can’t support their families with food on the table. You got people eating cat food. That in it self is a kind of Purge.
Carmen Ejogo: And the idea that government is the voice of the American people and that sometimes it helps itself is a given if you have any understanding of the Patriot Act or any of the other kinds of umm… social constructs and policies that’s in place. I think it’s not such a stretch to imagine.
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